Vladimir Horowitz

My all time hero. Horowitz was the consummate virtuoso. He was a throwback to the towering giants of the late Romantic era. He took piano technique to a new level in the 20th century. Audiences would be packed with pianists trying to work out how he could accomplish such feats.

He recorded prodigiously and his musical intelligence and sensitivity was beyond peer. His encores were a thing to be treasured. Here is perhaps his most famous, just over 3 minutes of barnstorming technical effortlessness, not a movement on his face, just concentration and all that keyboard power in authoritative control.

James Rhodes is coming to the Bromsgrove Artrix

If you haven’t seen him, James Rhodes is a top class concert pianist. He’s performing a musical evening of Chopin in the intimate Bromsgrove Artrix on Friday 20th February 2015 at 7:30 pm.

This is a real treat! James not only performs at the highest standard, he engages with the audience, often giving anecdotes about  composers’ lives. This is a must see!


The 2015 Challenge

I came across these articles 40 Piece Challenge and the Go Play Project.

The ‘2015 Challenge’ is to set a target to learn or re-learn a large number of piano pieces in a year. You set weekly, fortnightly or monthly deadlines. You practice the piece and then either perform it to a friend or teacher, or record it.

The result may not be perfect but taking part can help to overcome the tendency towards procrastination and perfectionism. The concept is inspirational and builds ability while learning new pieces and having fun along the way.

It’s a great idea on two counts:

As a pupil it helps you focus and practice, and the performance at the end will go some way to overcome anxiety about playing in front of someone.

As a teacher it encourages me to learn new pieces, and removes the excuse that I’m too busy teaching. Hopefully it builds a platform of increased ability to learn more complex pieces in the future.